As I've said before I work with little kids (birth-5). I love their little giggles, snuggles, faces, attitudes (ha!), and personalities. Although I am a speech therapist, almost everything I do is done through play (especially with the really little kids). Parents need to be clearly told what early intervention will look like because otherwise they seem confused. Sure, I'm playing with the child, but I use strategies during play to get them talking and accomplishing their other set goals. The strategies aren't rocket science, but a lot of people don't think that way (using short and simple speech when talking to their child to increase opportunities for imitation, repetition and expectant waiting, labeling items of interest, etc.)
I always knew I wanted to work with kids. When I was a child I wanted to be a pediatrician. That was until I realized kids don't like their pediatricians. They are usually scared, sick, and unhappy to see them.
Both of my parents have a background in special education and they encouraged me to pursue speech as a career path. My Mom did early intervention and preschool speech when I was in middle school and I often accompanied her when it was a therapy session after school. I loved it and thought it would be a great job.
Almost always on the first visit/session the parents like to ask me if I have my own children. I usually reply with "not yet" and they don't tend to ask much else. Most recently the mom looked at me and said, "Really? That's hard to believe." Well, believe it lady!
Working in this job I am supposed to keep the family involved, give them strategies and "homework" so that their child can progress. My hour a week I spend with them isn't going to change the world, I need carryover from families. Giving someone advice when they know you don't have children is strange. Sure, I'm the expert on the given topic, but I often feel like they are thinking does she really have a clue since she doesn't have her own children?
Service coordinators come to sessions about once a month to observe a child's progress and answer questions/concerns the parents have about the program. They all have children and they talk about them non-stop. I always feel like it discredits or excludes me because I can't participate in the conversation. I just sit there and feel stupid. Hopefully I don't look stupid : )
I don't discuss my infertility with any families. I'm not trying to get them involved in the situation and keep my personal and professional lives as separate as possible. I just wish people understood better that I don't have children yet because we haven't been able, not because I don't want them. I want to understand and be able to relate better, I swear!
How would you feel if your child's therapist didn't have any children, yet they were giving you advice on how to enhance you child's development? Would you take the advice with a grain of salt or respect it?